It starts with Jesus. It ends with Jesus. This is the holistic approach God had in mind for Christmas. It's a season where we are called to put down our burdens and lift a song up to our God. It's a season where love wins, peace reigns, and a king is celebrated with each breath.

Worship God Fully

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Luke 2:22-38New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Presented in the Temple

22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”[a]), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”[b]

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
    you may now dismiss[c] your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31     which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
    and the glory of your people Israel.”

33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four.[d] She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

Ephesians 2:14-22New International Version (NIV)
He Has Destroyed the Barrier

14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

Exodus 40:34-38English Standard Version (ESV)

The Glory of the Lord

34 Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35 And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 36 Throughout all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out. 37 But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out till the day that it was taken up. 38 For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel throughout all their journeys.

Worship Fully

Unraveling Sweater

Photo by alga38/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by alga38/iStock / Getty Images

Man in the Garden.
Genesis 2

These are the generations
of the heavens and the earth when they were created,
in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.

5 When no bush of the field[a] was yet in the land[b] and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, 6 and a mist[c] was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground— 7 then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.8 And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden,and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Destruction of Worship
Genesis 3

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.

He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You[a] shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise,[b] she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

God Saving His People in The Book of Exodus

Exodus 40:34-38English Standard Version (ESV)

God's Presence

34 Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35 And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 36 Throughout all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out. 37 But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out till the day that it was taken up. 38 For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel throughout all their journeys.

The Temple is destroyed by Babylon.

The exilic period was a rich one for Hebrew literature. Biblical depictions of the exile include Book of Jeremiah 39–43 (which saw the exile as a lost opportunity); the final section of 2 Kings (which portrays it as the temporary end of history); 2 Chronicles (in which the exile is the "Sabbath of the land"); and the opening chapters of Ezra, which records its end. Other works from or about the exile include the stories in Daniel 1–6, Susanna, Bel and the Dragon, the "Story of the Three Youths" (1 Esdras 3:1–5:6), and the books ofTobit and Book of Judith.[22]
Source Wikipedia

Luke 2:22-38New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Presented in the Temple

22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”[a]), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”[b]

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
    you may now dismiss[c] your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31     which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
    and the glory of your people Israel.”

33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four.[d] She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

An animated walkthrough of "Heaven and Earth" Subscribe Here: http://ow.ly/xy52n Donate Here: http://www.jointhebibleproject.com Say hello or follow us here: Twitter: http://twitter.com/joinbibleproj Facebook: http://fb.com/jointhebibleproject Website: http://www.jointhebibleproject.com The theme of "Heaven and Earth" begins in the first verse of the BIble: "In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth."


Announcements

Christmas Decorating at Church after Servicestomorrow


Stoves for Guatemala

Christmas can still change the world.  Christmas is the season we celebrate the fact that we have been given everything by Christ. Rather than just giving out of obligation this year, lets give to those who are truly in need. This year we will will be giving stoves to those in need in Guatemala. These Stoves provide not just an easier way of cooking, but a much healthier and safer kitchen and home. 
to purchase a stove or find out more info go to www.stovesforchristmas.com 

 

Children’s Christmas Program

Practices will continue each Sunday until 12:15 and Wednesdays from 6:15-7:30 (this includes Bible study at the end) until Sunday, December 7.
Wednesday, December 10 and Friday, December 12 will be very important dress rehearsals from 6:15-7:30.
-The worship service on December 14 will include all the kids’ hard work. Practice that morning will begin at 9:15
Faithbentonville.com/practice contains all the practice YouTube videos.

 

December 14 Potluck and Fundraiser Party

Bring a lunch dish (desserts will be in Bake Sal format) to share on December 14 for after church. Activity and craft booths will be set up for kids and adults of all ages! Many of the popular activities from Easter at Orchards Park and others will be included.
-Tickets will cost $2, but kids who have been doing well at the practices will have earned many tickets by that point. Everyone is welcome to purchase tickets and support the youth group.
-Funds earned that day will help grades 6-12 attend a state-wide retreat the weekend of Valentine’s Day.

 

Men's Group

The Monday night men’s group will gather funds to help a family in need this Christmas. Talk to Keith Brummett for more information.
Next Men's Night is at Dam Good Pies in Rogers Monday 6:30pm

 Christmas Parade Float

This year most of our float is already built! Finishing touches and putting it all together will begin on Wednesday, December 10 from 6:15 to 7:30. More details about riding on the float will follow.
BRING CANDY TO CHURCH IN THE COMING WEEKS! Then we will have it to pass out to parade watchers.

Youth Retreat Feb 13-15

Grades 6-12 are invited to attend a youth retreat for all LCMS youth at The Lutheran Camp on Petit Jean Mountain the weekend of Valentine’s Day. Fundraising will take place throughout the next few months, but the overall cost per participant will be $100. We will leave immediately after the high school students dismiss on Friday afternoon and will return Sunday evening.

Youth Fundraising Opportunities

On these upcoming Saturdays from 1:00-5:00 (November 29, December 6, andSaturday December 20), youth and family members are invited to help clean and organize the church. Each participant will earn a $5 credit toward the youth retreat per hour worked. If you plan to help, please bring a vacuum with you if you can! Additionally, if you operate a booth or help set up for the December 14 party, you will receive credit toward your retreat cost based on the funds earned. Ask Coli for more details.

Community Groups

Join a community group any time, or start of a community group of your own! Here are the ones currently meeting:

-          Sunday Evenings (6:30) at the Escher’s – women’s prayer, discussion, and Bible readings

-          Tuesday Evenings at the Schommers (7:00) – studying Proverbs

-          Wednesday Mornings at Braums (6:30) – devotions from Portals of Prayer

-          Wednesday Evenings at Faith (6:15) – “What They Didn’t Teach You inSunday School” weekly topic

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